A few notes before I hop into the meat of what I'm looking to do here tonight.
Some more Sailor Moon tapes arrived for me the other day... I now have subs of the first, third, and fourth seasons in their entirety, plus all three movies and about twenty episodes of the second season (I have the first, second, and third seasons of the dub recorded). i am one pathetic loser What can I say? Nothing puts a smile on my face and warm syrup in my heart like Sailor Moon. The guy also sent me the first four episodes of Marmalade Boy as a bonus... It's basically an animated teenage soap opera, but dammit, it's sweet and charming with extremely endearing characters and I fear I may be hooked. ; P
That Wyclef Jean song, "Gone Till November" is stuck in my head.
Anyway, the following is partly inspired by the last two episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion (my brother and I watched all 26 episodes over the course of two evenings last week). Prepare for brutal introspection/self absorption. (hey- this IS a diary, after all)
Q: Why do you like stories, especially things like anime and video games and fantasy/SF novels, so much? Why this escapism?
A: Oh, there are many answers to that question. One generally escapes because one doesn't like where one is... But it's really not that I don't like where I am (most of the time)- it just doesn't seem all that meaningful or important sometimes. When I play a video game, I am special, at least in the context of the video game world. I am important, and the things I do have powerful consequences for good. I make a difference- I make people's lives better, I prevent the bad things in the world from gaining ascendance. And through books and anime I get that same experience by proxy. I get to "come along for the ride" and see what these amazing (or at least interesting) people see and feel what they feel and do what they do. I think that's one of the most valuable aspects of storytelling- this experience by proxy. It lets you step out of your own life, your own paradigm, and experience something else... It's not the same as the actual experience, of course, but I think stories are the most powerful way to get people to step outside their own point of view and consider something else. I get to be all kinds of different people and go to places I've never seen or even imagined. I am constantly traveling to new realms. I love sleeping and dreaming for the same reason... It does something to satisfy my wandering spirit. I don't know that escapism is the right term for what it is and what it does for me... Certainly it takes me out of the drudgery of my real life, but I come back to my real life with an improved point of view. -i haven't lost wide-eyed wonder- It restores my innocence, in a way... It helps me see things again for the first time- to see them new and wondrous as they are and not buried under the disgusting layers of familiarity.
Q: So... You said something in there about liking these things because you can feel you are special. Do you not think you are special?
A: Yes, I do think I am special.
A: I don't know that I have any kind of rational explanation for that, which kind of bothers me. I kind of take it on faith... This bothers me because recent experiences have given me a deep distrust of "faith." I am not just decaying organic matter like everything else. I AM a beautiful and unique snowflake. But perhaps a better answer to the question of whether or not I think I am special is not that I AM special, but that I have the potential to be special. I feel like I am expected to do great, important things. Things that will make a difference and change people's lives. I feel like God or Fate or Whatever expects me to perform a great work, but it is by no means assured that I actually will. I think very few people have the kind of potential, the kind of expectations that I do, and thus I think I am special.
Q: So, what great thing(s) are you to do?
A: That's a problem. I don't know. It's probably one of the biggest problems in my life right now- I don't know what my mission is. I don't know what it is I want to do, what it is I am to do. Does it involve music? Science? Writing? Something else entirely? I don't know. I have no direction. No real goals. That's why I love the stories- people with potential who are realizing it and becoming "special." People doing what I want to do, in my own way. (But I wonder... Say a person's reason for existing is to free the slaves... Does that mean that the purpose of the slaves is to appreciate being set free? Who exists to do what for who, really? What does it all come down to, really- the question of Why? "Maybe I exist to find out why I exist." When you get to the center of the circle, existence is its own end. We exist to exist... there is no why) destiny, hold my hand, protect me from the world...
Q: Do you actually believe these things you are spouting about destiny?
A: I don't know. Maybe I believe in nothing. I have no real reason to believe there is any real direction or plan for the universe beyond the fact that protons and electrons are attracted to each other and repelled from themselves (which isn't to say there is definitely NOT a real direction or plan- just that no one has let me in on the joke yet). But potential greatness is real, and this is what I think I am calling "destiny."
It's entirely possible that my idea of having some kind of "destiny" is self delusion, though... Maybe I really don't have this potential I dream of, maybe I will never do anything worthwhile- maybe it's all just a futile attempt to give meaning to my life because somehow being the same decaying organic matter as everything else is not good enough, not worth it. I suppose it's immaturity to be unable to accept that. I still think I'm immortal and invincible. I'm just being selfish in my insistence on getting more than everyone else. And yet, great things are rarely achieved without confidence, even arrogance, and a sense of mission- destiny.
don't you wanna live forever?
Maybe these are just childish fancies, to be discarded, willingly or unwillingly, as the reality of age and wisdom descends upon me. I don't know. If I read this again five, ten, twenty, fifty years from now, what will I think? Will I laugh at my naivete, cry at my failure to become, or smile at my foreshadowing? There are so many obstacles in the way of the completion of my great work, even after it becomes clear what it should be (if it ever does). I have to find a way out of the box. What can I do but continue on into the future?
"Oh, that some encouraging voice would answer in the affirmative! My courage and my resolution is firm; but my hopes fluctuate, and my spirits are often depressed."
"There is something at work in my soul which I do not understand. I am practically industrious- painstaking, a workman to execute with perseverance and labour- but besides this there is a love for the marvellous, a belief in the marvellous intertwined in all my projects, which hurries me out of the common pathways of men, even to the wild sea and unvisited regions I am about to explore."
"I believed myself destined for some great enterprise. My feelings are profound, but I possessed a coolness of judgement that fitted me for illustrious achievements. This sentiment of the worth of my nature supported me when others would have been oppressed, for I deemed it criminal to throw away in useless grief those talents that might be useful to my fellow creatures."
Q: Interesting. I think we'll stop there for now. I still have a lot of questions I would like to ask you... Perhaps we can do this again some time.
I know what you're thinking- "I don't know that I've ever read something with such a high bullshit to content ratio!"- but I'm just writing what's in my head and heart. I'm a prick, aren't I?
we are the all singing, all dancing crap of the universe...